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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

DesertXpress "XpressWest” - Las Vegas to Victorville

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is the lead federal agency for the environmental review of the DesertXpress High-Speed Passenger Train project, which was rebranded as the XpressWest project in 2012. The XpressWest project is proposed by DesertXpress Enterprises, LLC to provide reliable and safe passenger rail transportation along an approximate 200-mile corridor between Southern California (Victorville) and Las Vegas, Nevada, as an alternative to automobile or air travel.

The project would use proven high-speed rail technology and be constructed as a grade-separated, dedicated passenger-only railroad predominantly in the median of or immediately alongside Interstate 15 (I-15), adding transportation capacity to the freeway corridor.

FRA, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Surface Transportation Board (STB), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the National Park Service (NPS), prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in March 2009, a Supplemental DEIS in August 2010, a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) in March 2011, and a Record of Decision (ROD) in July 2011. FRA most recently completed a reevaluation of the FEIS and ROD in September 2020.

NEPA Reevaluation

FRA has completed a reevaluation of the 2011 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) for the DesertXpress High-Speed Passenger Train Project. In January 2019, DesertXpress Enterprises, LLC submitted project modifications, including a refined alignment between Apple Valley and Las Vegas (with a greater proportion within the Interstate 15 [I-15] freeway median), modified station sites in Apple Valley and the Las Vegas area, and other changes to ancillary facilities. Based on the nature of the project modifications, FRA determined that a reevaluation was appropriate.

FRA’s Environmental Procedures provide that: 

“If major steps toward implementation of the proposed action have not occurred within the time frame, if any, set forth in the final EIS, or within five years from the date of approval of the final EIS, a written reevaluation of the adequacy, accuracy, and validity of the final EIS shall be prepared, and a new or supplemental EIS prepared, if necessary.”

FRA in cooperation with BLM, STB, FHWA, and the US Army Corps of Engineers, with the added participation of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), analyzed whether changes in the environmental setting due to the passage of time or the proposed project modifications would result in new significant environmental impacts. This analysis is documented in the reevaluation. 

View NEPA Reevaluation Documents:

Record of Decision

FRA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) on the DesertXpress High-Speed Passenger Train project on July 8, 2011. The ROD summarizes the environmental review process FRA conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and FRA’s Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts. The ROD identifies the alternatives considered by FRA, addresses comments received during the NEPA process, and identifies the Selected Alternative. The ROD also includes a list of all measures to avoid and minimize environmental harm, including a monitoring and enforcement program to ensure adherence to these measures. Finally, the ROD presents the FRA decision, determinations, and findings regarding the Project, and identifies the factors that FRA considered in making its decision.

View the Record of Decision:

The ROD is also available at public libraries identified below.

 

ROD Available Libraries

 
Library Victorville City Library Barstow Library Las Vegas Library Clark County Library
Address

15011 Circle Drive
Victorville, CA 92395

304 East Buena Vista
Barstow, CA 92311

833 Las Vegas Blvd. N.
Las Vegas, NV 89101

1401 Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89119

Final Environmental Impact Statement

The FEIS addresses any changes to the DesertXpress project DEIS and Supplemental DEIS as a result of public or agency comments. This FEIS also provides an evaluation of the environmental effects of the “Preferred Alternative,” which was selected by the Lead and Cooperating Agencies from the range of Action Alternatives presented in the DEIS and Supplemental DEIS. The “Preferred Alternative” is the option/alternative that the Lead and Cooperating Agencies believe would best fulfill each agency’s statutory mission and responsibilities, in consideration with economic, environmental, and technical factors.

The Preferred Alternative rail alignment would be almost entirely located within the existing I-15 corridor, with tracks running alongside freeway travel lanes. The Preferred Alternative also specifies station and maintenance facility sites and identifies Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) as the locomotive technology. The Final EIS compares the environmental effects of the Preferred Alternative to the other Action Alternatives and the No Build Alternative. Mitigation measures for the Preferred Alternative are included to reduce or eliminate adverse environmental effects of the Preferred Alternative.

View the Final Environmental Impact Statement:

Volume II (Appendices)

Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Following the publication of the DEIS for the Project, the Applicant proposed several Project modifications and additions to address substantive comments received during public and agency review of the DEIS and to reduce or avoid significant environmental effects. The Supplemental DEIS and Draft 4(f) Evaluation identifies and analyzes the potential environmental impacts (both beneficial and adverse) that could occur to a range of environmental resources as a result of the proposed Project modifications and additions. The DEIS comment period closed on October 18, 2010. The DEIS was made available to the public in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act including two public hearings.

View the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement:

Volume II (Appendices)

Draft Environmental Impact Statement

The DEIS identifies and analyzes the potential environmental impacts (both beneficial and adverse) that could occur to a range of environmental resources as a result of the construction and operation of the project alternatives. At this time, the federal agencies have not identified a preferred alternative.

The DEIS comment period closed on May 22, 2009. The DEIS was made available to the public in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act including three public hearings. DEIS web files have a lower resolution graphics for easier download and the maps with greatest detail are in Appendix A.

View the Draft Environmental Impact Statement:

Volume II (Appendices)

Last updated: Tuesday, December 1, 2020